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International

Brighton Player Gets Coronavirus ahead of EPL Restart Call

A Brighton player tested positive for the coronavirus as Premier League clubs prepare for talks on Monday about how to resume the competition during the pandemic.

The southern England club told The Associated Press there is no need for other members of the squad or coaches to self-isolate because players have only worked in isolation when at the training base.

Brighton said three players have now had the coronavirus, having announced the first diagnosis in March when the league was suspended. The players have not been named.

"Despite all of the measures that we've been taking over the past few weeks, where the players haven't been involved in any significant training at all, we've still suffered another player testing positive for the virus," Brighton chief executive Paul Barber told broadcaster Sky Sports on Sunday.

Clubs are yet to resume group training as they abide by government social distancing regulations.

The Premier League has government support for "Project Restart" and it will be trying to secure agreement among the 20 clubs on the plans during a conference call with them on Monday.

"The safety of players and staff is top of that list, everyone's working hard to minimise risk for those groups," Brighton technical director Dan Ashworth said. "Then there's a series of things: Where will the games be played? When can we start? When can the players train to make sure they're not at risk of injury? How will the games be aired?

"The most important thing is safety, then you can look at the whole thing and discuss how it can all look, it's about putting together the pieces of the jigsaw once we have a better idea of what the plan looks like."

Brighton has opposed plans to have to complete the season in neutral stadiums rather than being able to play its five remaining home games at its stadium. Watford chief executive Scott Duxbury said at least six of the league's 20 clubs are concerned about the use of up to 10 neutral venues, despite police saying that is the only safe way of completing the season.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has been a rare public voice from within the Premier League coming out in support of the plan that envisages playing games again in June.

"There are no easy answers, we have to work through it as a collective and I think we will and come out with a consensus in the end," Parish told the BBC. "(The meeting) is another part of the journey in trying to get football back. We would be derelict in our duty if we did not find a way for the game to come back.

"It may prove beyond us, we have huge challenges in order to get it back to complete the season but we are planning on doing so."

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